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LuminUS: Stories About Us

Akron Women: Another Look at History

Celebrating the significant contributions of Akron women to the city's history.

AKRON WOMEN: ANOTHER LOOK AT HISTORY was created by a group of University of Akron students under the guidance of their professor, Dr. Kathleen L. Endres. A distinguished professor of communication at the university, Endres is the author of a variety of books and articles on women in the Akron area.

"I turned to some extraordinary students and suggested that we do something like a PowerPoint presentation about Akron women. It was their idea to pursue creation of a documentary," Endres said. The production features historic video footage and still photographs interspersed with interviews of women who share their memories about Akron's people and events.

Endres said the documentary is built on sound research, showing many photos that have never been seen publicly before. "It attempts to capture the spirit of Akron women, to show some of their experiences that have not been traditionally shown—and indeed have been ignored—in histories."

Kyle Verrett, a graduate student in communication, served as director of the documentary. She said the program captures the "lost stories" in Akron history—the girls from West Virginia, immigrants from Eastern Europe and women who spent their lives weaving the fabric of the city's history. "We really got to know the women we interviewed," Verrett said, adding that this made the project all the more meaningful.

The documentary is narrated by Heather Burns, radio host of WAPS (91.3) FM. It premiered at Akron's Main Library; however, much new material has been added to the hour-long production since the premiere. "The musical score is wonderful," Endres noted. "It adds so much to give a flavor of the times." Mark Schulz, a graduate student at The University of Akron, composed and arranged the music.


Premiered on PBS Western Reserve in 2005.